Cinya Burton

Posted by Cinya Burton 02/22/13 at 01:23PM

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to attend "Essence" magazine's 6th annual Black Women in Hollywood Awards, which was honestly cooler than sneaking into an Oscar party. Why? Well, for starters, it was packed with A-listers like Oprah Winfrey, Gabrielle Union, Jennifer Hudson, and Quvenzhané Wallis (the youngest Oscar-nominated actress ever).

Secondly, even though the event had a red carpet, it felt more like an intimate wedding reception. The vibe was infinitely more relaxed than any awards show I've ever seen (even the Golden Globes where the stars opening drink for three hours). Speeches seemed more like conversations -- casual, warm, and, yes, a bit long -- and celebs hopped from table to table like they were playing duck, duck, goose.

Of course I kept my eye out for big beauty trends. Large, loose, voluminous curls dominated the event (even Oprah wore her hair curly!), proving that the natural-hair moment is going to be just as big in 2013 as it was in 2012.

And my personal highlight was meeting Laila Ali (left), who was my idol in high school. I'm already planning to recreate her faux bob for next year's event.

And the survey says...
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